Lessons from Lent and an EWM: Spinach & Artichoke Sammies


I recently awoke from the sugar coma I fell into on Easter Sunday. It was a wild ride that I’ll never forget.

I must say, I learned a thing or two from 40 days added-sugar-free:

    • The sugar crash is for real. During Lent I never found myself falling asleep on the way home from work, like I tend to do when I’m allowed to go bonkers on whatever cookies/candy are left behind in the company cafeteria.
    • Labels. I have always considered myself a label reader. I scan labels for the nutritional information and the ingredients. Usually I look for the number of calories and the protein/carbohydrate content. Then I scan the ingredient list looking for weird things like words that have no vowels, or fake sugar. However, during Lent I was focused on added sugars. I became very fluent in the different types of sugar – honey, corn syrup, brown rice syrup, agave, etc.  I was amazed at how many things have a form of sugar listed as the first ingredient! Exhibit A: This innocuous-looking bar.


Looks good, right? Organic ingredients, typical number of calories for an energy bar. Its even made locally! Seems like a great little snack. But back up – the ingredient list is another story. Sugar is the first ingredient!


How can that be? There is more brown rice syrup than there are cashews in a cashew bar? Before Lent, I don’t know that I would have noticed this – I would have scanned the ingredients, seen that there was no xyfncfpprwxz acid*, and thrown it in the cart.

*A made-up word, but you know what I mean.

So put those little lessons in your pipe, as the saying goes. On another topic, last night I made an EWM: Spinach and Artichoke sandwiches. I got this idea from an issue of Whole Living magazine. They had a whole article on sandwich combinations. This one is reeeeal easy.


Spinach and Artichoke Sammies, inspired by Whole Living
(makes about 4 open-faced sandwiches)

Go get:

1 can white beans (I used cannellini beans)
2 handfuls spinach
1 jar marinated artichokes (I didn’t use the whole jar)
1 T olive oil
4 slices whole wheat bread
salt & pepper

Let’s do this:

I hate the idea of cold beans, so I rinsed and drained the cannellini beans, then added them to a skillet with the olive oil and warmed them up for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, transfer to a bowl and mash with a fork.
Put your bread in the toaster. Throw the spinach into the skillet that you just used for the beans – you just want to wilt the spinach a little. In the meantime, chop up the artichokes into small pieces.

When the bread is toasted, spread on a layer of beans, artichokes, and top with the sauteed spinach. Top with salt and pepper to taste.


Polish off dinner with something that has sugar as the first ingredient. I kid!

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2 thoughts on “Lessons from Lent and an EWM: Spinach & Artichoke Sammies

  1. ling says:

    ok- do real people actually make dry beans to edible beans? do you? this sammie sitch looks amazing.

    • Molly says:

      I just read an article in Cooking Light about this. I’ve been meaning to do it forever, and Kath swears by it. I’ll blog about it when I do!

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